Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has marked Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels and Real Madrid’sGareth Bale as his “top targets” for the summer, according toJames Robson of the Manchester Evening News.
The Dutchman is looking “to realise executive vice chairman Ed Woodward’s vision of a Galactico in every position,” according to Robson. Alongside Hummels and Bale, it is suggested he will aim to land a “top class central midfielder and a right-back.” A £40 million attempt to lure Harry Kane from Tottenham Hotspur is also mentioned.
Van Gaal has promised major change during the summer. He spoke at the club’s end-of-season awards night, per Robson: “It shall be a rough summer for a lot of players but a club like Manchester United has to do that.”
Robson’s report indicates Angel Di Maria, Robin van Persie, AdnanJanuzaj and Jonny Evans may depart. David De Gea—who won both the Players’ Player and Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award during Tuesday’s event—could also be on his way to Real Madrid, reported byJeremy Cross of the Daily Star.
Hummels continues to be linked with an Old Trafford switch.Bundesliga pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft recently tweeted information fromSport Bild:
The World Cup-winning defender could take on a leadership role at United. Van Gaal loves his defenders to play out from the back, something Hummels is extremely confident of doing. He is a fine passer, but more importantly, would add a physical presence to the side’s leaky defence.
Hummels is dominant in the air and a smart reader of the game. He could form a profitable partnership with Chris Smalling—who captained the side against Arsenal—adding proven ability to Van Gaal‘s ranks. Phil Jones may be looking over his shoulder, though.
The capture of Bale would most likely rank as the summer’s biggest coup, butSky Sports presenter Guillem Balague believes the Welshman “is going to be at Real Madrid next season.” Despite the addition of MemphisDepay, Van Gaal still needs explosive pace and goalscoring ability up top, something Bale would provide.
De Gea‘s potential departure has seen the club linked with a move forAjax’s Jasper Cillessen, per the Mirror (h/t Robson). Marc Overmars, the Dutch side’s sporting director, suggests the player won’t be sold, reported by De Telegraaf (h/t Richard Jolly of ESPN FC): “Jasper is not for sale, not even for €25 million.”
B/R UK’s Thom Gibbs recently discussed a plethora of potential options for United:
United fans may take heart from the source of the latest Hummels and Bale rumours. The Manchester Evening News is obviously well connected to the club, and when reporting speculation of its own, should have inside knowledge to draw upon.
One thing’s for certain, United fans can expect another summer of change. While the manager will stay for the first time in three years, Old Trafford‘s revolving door is expected to work overtime. Van Gaalneeds to wean out the deadwood and replace them with hungry, proven quality.
Players such as Hummels and Bale have the quality to make an instant impact, but won’t be enough by themselves to launch a title bid. With Champions League football secured, it must be a priority to ensure United have top-quality stars and reinforcements in every position.